Nothing comes close to a pair of designer shoes for their quality materials, top-level craftsmanship, and signature style. Having that feeling of joy when you’re strutting around in a pair of shoes you know everybody else wants — it’s like magic.
But do you really want to pay obscene designer prices? Of course not. And you don’t have to.
There are several ways to get designer shoes for less. The smart shopper avoids paying full price but also doesn’t compromise for cheap knockoffs. So where are all of these supposed steals? Check out these Savetastic tips on authentic designer footwear.
Hit the Outlets
Outlet shopping once meant digging through bins in the corner of an unkempt warehouse. But we live in the digital age. These days, most high-end department stores have online outlets where you can find hidden treasures at reasonable prices.
Saks Off Fifth and Nordstrom Rack are both great places to begin. Two of the best-regarded names in retail have made clearance and overstock items available online, with prices marked-down as much as 70%. And they add new items each week, which means if you can’t find the pair of Gucci boots you want today, that perfect bargain might just appear tomorrow. (Remember, patience is the key to getting the best deals).
The Outnet is another great resource, an online outlet for luxury brand Net-a-Porter. You can find such coveted brands as Balenciaga, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana, all for a fraction of the original cost.
Resellers like TJ Maxx and DSW
Deal destinations like TJ Maxx and DSW keep their prices low by helping the big guys clean house. That’s to say, if a designer manufactures more shoes than they can sell or if a department store overbuys a particular item, these resale heroes swoop in and take the extra merchandise off their hands. They then sell the designer over-stock directly to customers at a huge discount.
And, unlike a store like Target that sells imitations of designer shoes, TJ Maxx and DSW actually carry some of the most beloved designer names at the most lovable prices. The Runway is a department of TJ Maxx’s online store that specifically features brand-name products at killer prices.
“On many designers they hide the name of the brand until you click on the item,” says Susan K., a professional shopper. “Gucci, Tod’s, Louboutin—I’ve seen them all on TJ.”
Meanwhile, on the website for DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse), you can search by brand name, finding great deals on everything from Steve Madden to Cole Haan to Adidas. Of course, the best way to find a real steal is by going down to the store yourself. There’s nothing like seeing, feeling, and touching the leather when buying shoes of any level.
Consignment Is Key
Consignment shops are nothing new, but the system is now making a splash online. There are countless apps and websites dedicated to online consignment, where everyday people can sell the designer products they no longer use to eager shoppers. PoshMark and Depop are two hip examples of consignment apps that make finding that perfect pair of pumps easier than ever. And, of course, eBay is the original mecca for consumer-to-consumer trades.
Meanwhile, if you’re exclusively seeking luxury goods, you have to visit The RealReal. This online consigner specializes in high-end fashion at breathtaking prices. We’re talking Christian Dior, Chanel, and Alexander McQueen, all available within a budget-friendly range for those names.
Sign Up for Email
It’s easy to ignore promotional emails, but at what cost? You could be snubbing some of your best chances to buy designer shoes for less. So take some time to subscribe to all your valued department store email lists, and keep an eye out. That way, you’ll be the first to know when designer shoes go on sale. With luck you can snatch up those marked-down Manolos before anyone else is the wiser.